[Funding Alert] Ather Energy raises $51M led by Sachin Bansal
Bengaluru-based Ather Energy has raised $51 million in its latest funding led by Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart and BAC Acquisitions.
Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of Ather Energy, said,
“Sachin has been part of our growth journey and this investment is a strong endorsement of the momentum we’ve built. Post the successful launch in Bengaluru, we are eager to reach out to consumers in other cities and to build more products that will excite consumers to switch to electric vehicles.”
The IoT-based electric scooter manufacturing startup's Ather 450 opened for pre-orders last June in Bengaluru and the deliveries began in September 2018. The team is looking to expand its presence and has opened pre-orders in Chennai looking to scale to 30 cities by 2023.
In a statement, Sachin Bansal said, “The traditional auto industry is up for a redefinition. Watching Ather closely since my early investment in 2014, I am convinced that the ecosystem that Ather is building with their products is the future of urban mobility. Their focus on end-to-end customer experience will open up new revenue opportunities and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India. The future is electric and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future.”
As an angel investor, Sachin Bansal invested $500,000 in the startup in 2015. In this round, he pumped in $32 million. Additionally, Hero MotoCorp has converted its convertible debt of $19 million and InnoVen Capital has extended an $8 million venture debt.
Ather is now planning to set up a new manufacturing facility, which will be built to produce one million vehicles in a year. The team is also looking to set up 6,500 Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next five years, with a projected investment of Rs 130 crore.
The team claims that in the past six months, Ather 450 owners have clocked more than six lakh kilometre in Bengaluru. The company claims that its public charging network, Ather Grid has 31 fast charging points in Bengaluru and seven fast charging points in Chennai.
The interest in EVs is high across the country, and the online Ather community reveals that some owners have taken their electric scooters long distance – with one riding from Bengaluru to Tirupati, a distance of 254 kilometres.
Ather also offers lease options with monthly payment options as low as Rs 2,517. The Ather 450 has received multiple over-the-air (OTA) updates since September 2018, adding features like new ride modes and guide-me-home lights, making them one of the fastest iteration cycles in the country.